42 is the answer, even for VR

After developing our VR production processes for months and meeting around our business development, we found that, like for Xavier Niel, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 42 is the answer.

There are many, easy, but time consuming tasks to create 3D assets and a game designer or engineer is not really willing to work on this every days, for months. A machine here can’t fully accomplish all the tasks needed and it’s heavily related to human perception.

On the other hand you can have a full world created according to your exact need within a few days by a big team focusing on simple tasks. Let me explain.

Creating an object ready for VR (Google Cardboard constraints) can be accomplished this way in a few minutes:

  • open Blender
  • place 6 pictures of the object (front, right, left, back, up and down)
  • choose 3 main pictures
  • make 3 faces following the 3 pictures
  • extrude each face to become a volume
  • make a Boolean intersection of these 3 volumes
  • simplify it to an acceptable mesh (optimize for VR)
  • create an empty material for it
  • create first UV Map for texture
  • project/paint texture from pictures to the object seamlessly
  • export texture
  • create secondary UV Map for lightmapping
  • check everything (verts, tris, normals, …)
  • export as fbx
  • check import and lightmap in Unity
  • deliver
  • get paid at the end of the week

For a novice this might be new terms, but after a very quick training you’ll be able to do it without any prior diploma in this area.

Sometimes you only need a few images and a cube to make a finalized virtual object:

Mesh is 8 vertices (modified cube)
Pictures are applied as texture
Given normal picture is applied above texture to finalize the cardboard effect
Secondary UV Map is generated with islands (on the right)

All software used are professional grade and free, Blender and GIMP are even open source.

But, can we have a school teaching just this? I don’t think so. Academic has a broader spectrum, and diplomas are to validate years of learning. Can everyone afford to get the full course to finally SEARCH for a job? When you need just these steps to GET a job?

This is barely a MOOC too because it’s not about gathering more knowledge and information from Academics, it’s about your practice and talent to develop a skill, a kind of modern virtual pottery. The shortest path between beginning and valuation of the training.

So, this is a kind of self taught tutorial with some valid tests at the end. Can be team work, can be alone, can be fast, can be repeated as many times as you want, and like “42” school in Paris, France and Fremont, CA; this is the best answer.

So, we decided to go for it, we will build this training and tests and we’ll be glad to offer work tasks!

Keep you informed,

Philippe Manzano